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Tether management system (TMS), anybody?

I am in the process of designing a caged TMS system for the BlueROV2, anyone else working on this. I designed one under contract for VideoRay about 10-11 years ago and built it. (see below) It had a 500ft down tether, 130 ft of fly out tether for the system, external camera and light with provisions for more. Pretty sure I included a heading thruster option as well. So, anyone working on something similar, maybe a larger system flyout option?


Hi Craig,

Looks pretty sweet. Are you using a bayler arm?

I’ve been working on several Winch/TMS designs for the BR2. The problem is weight and how to launch it and remain portable and cost effective.

I got as far as designing a davit/Winch that can fit in Pelican case but this would not be strong enough to carry a TMS.

There lies the problem you will need to address I think.

The main benefit is the weighted reference point so the ROV isn’t feeling the effects of dragging around a bunch of tether. With the tether lengths limited by the homeplug module and with an 8-thruster system, I’m not sure there’s a need for a TMS within the BR product line. With the BR tether, you could just add a little weight to the tether however many meters up from the ROV if you really wanted to. As we see more third party power supply systems and fiber systems using heavier tether and going deeper, those are the folks that will want a TMS at some point. If you made one, I’d make one with that in mind, which means thinking about optical sliprings and higher voltage/current sliprings and a winch that can handle ideally up to 400m of up to 9mm tether and then maybe another 100m on the TMS. Could pull back from that in the beginning, but that’s about what I’d aim for; 500m total.


My first design was a bail arm TMS, we used it when I found the wreck of the “Lady Luck” on the east coast, second iteration was a tractor drive, which still does not require the slip ring but requires better less ROV tether or things get messy.

With such a setup the whole “portability” thing goes out the window. This would be for long duration jobs working from a fixed platform (barge, DP vessel, etc.,) operating one or two systems in the water simultaneously.


im planing an a garge with two trusters on… winch with wire and shacles, no subsea winch…dont se the point of adjusting teher winch for two yrs :wink: (Yes i have fixed tooo much TMS that dont workj porperly, Diamond bar and Tether brakes is the BIG issue!)…but im combining the grage with doing surveys too… no use of battery exept camera… but will keep it as simple as poosible,) …so in the end the tether management down there, will be a fun thing bec im using gripper to retrive the tether… topside winch…Crab hauler;)http://www.herholdt.no/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=4318

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can you make one ? and what are the costs ?

thanks pim

A same for me to !! For a BleuRov2heavy
Thanks Jean Benoit

You mean something like this?

The tether connects to the rear of the spool. The spool is fixed in place…the tether is wound onto the spool by an arm that moves around and around the outer edge of the spool, similar to one found on a modern fishing reel. This eliminates the need for a slip-ring.


I’m just curious for those interested in a TMS for the BR2.

It’s going to get heavy. How do you plan on launching it in the water?

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Yes, I can build one, but as mentioned above. You will need a LARS (launch and recovery system) to go along with it and I could conceivably do that as well. Any thing can be built with the proper amount of funding.

Well, I designed a custom pontoon boat that expands from 8’ wide to 14’ wide, and 4’ vertically, giving me a 14x28’ fully-enclosed pontoon boat with a 7’ ceiling. There is a 14’ square control room, 4’ for bathroom and kitchenette, and a 10x14 ROV deployment room with moon pool. The ROV/TMS cages would be lowered by an overhead twin gantry crane.

A battery bank resides within a ‘ballast tube’ which swings down in 10m+ deep water, to stabilize the boat. I also designed in folding ‘stilts’ between the deck and pontoons which would allow one to raise the deck 4’ above the pontoons to prevent a rough sea (windy lake) from battering the side walls, rather medium-size 1.5m-high waves would simply wash over the pontoons under the raised deck. The heavy ballast tube would keep the boat from lurching side to side as a ‘normal’ pontoon boat would, instead mine would just bob up and down.

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That’s great looking setup.

I’m presently building a winch for a client and am keeping TMS in mind in this design.



I work with my boat, I can add a load mast to manage a TMS cage

lars is not our problem but can you build a tms for us ?

Hello again,

Out of curiosity.

How much tether would you guys need on the TMS?

Would it be acceptable to have a TMS where you need to keep tension on the tether in order to avoid having to build a tensioner (power sheave)

How deep would it need to go?

Would it be acceptable to launch it to depth using a wire winch to avoid having to buy an armored umbilical?

What weight would be acceptable?

What would be an acceptable price?

( The slipping alone would be at least 2-3kusd)

(Sorry. I’m not versed enough on the bailarm system to be able to design one.)


if it was me you asked i will make several, but will start with one and get rid of the babyerrors;)… but still no subsea winch… figure of 8 in a small “drawer” and retrival i will use the manip… but you have to plan the mission so you dont end up with to small tether… well lower the TMS will help, but this is learning by failure… the costs… stainless stell anbd that stuff is free, so its the components that will cost… will soon come up with a new el Winch and ROV hooks in 2 sizes, knives and fishtales for tooling, and last but not least, , high presure waterjet!..and cutter,polisher for propellers and cutting work, will try to naKE UT SO I CAN USE STANDARD STAINKLESS DISKS,(Anglegrinder size;)
79701273_2583336948555711_5611620405698625536_n|348x500 …with a brilliant stabd so several tools can be sorted out and easy accsess. custom made for this system.! ,and as you see, there is a noce recreational sport we are building too;) Subseapilot.com…Dubai isnt far now;)

last ned (2) last ned last ned …and This BEAUTY…armyknife

images (1) images (2) images (3) images last ned (4) last ned (5) last ned (6) last ned (7) armyknife …toys for boys,99

That’s a toolchanger by SteelWrist or TiltRotator. Grabs/releases the auger/saw/pincer/shovel, but in the case of hydraulically-operated tools, they still need to be attached to the accessorie lines manually. I want one for my backhoe, but will have to buiild it myself from a 4x4 truck hub and a hydraulic swivel, with some servo-actuated hydraulic valves, because i can’t afford the $20k price tag.

its a Brokk;)